Sunday 12 July 2020

Parnassus Apollo (Greece, 1981)

The Parnassus Apollo – also known as the Mountain Apollo – is a species of butterfly found mostly in mountainous areas in Continental Europe. There is quite a lot of variation between sub-species, but the black spots and the “eye spots” are pretty consistent. The eye spots act as a defence mechanism against predators, giving the impression that you are being watched. The Apollo’s other defence mechanism is to taste really bad.

The Apollo is one of the most diverse species of butterfly, with some sub-species only found in specific Alpine Valleys. This stems from the period when glaciers developed and restricted movement between valleys. Isolated local populations persisted and developed their own niche characteristics.

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